It is only a day before the ceremony that we have learnt through Mr. Chaitanya Prasad, that a large segment of the awards will not be presented by the Hon'ble President of India.
I&B minister Irani had to rush to Vigyan Bhavan, where the final rehearsal was taking place, to pacify the awardees Wednesday.
Ms. Irani spent almost 45 minutes during the dress rehearsal placating the agitated awardees, explaining to them the new protocol established by Mr. Kovind. "It has been the practice ever since the president took over that except for Republic Day or very important meetings, he will spend up to an hour at all other functions".
Sources at the Rashtrapati Bhavan told India Today that the President's office had conveyed several weeks in advance to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ministry about the change in protocol and that the President would attend the ceremony for only an hour. "It seems unfortunate that 65 years of tradition are being overturned in a jiffy". In the first phase, the awards were presented by the I&B minister and her junior minister while in the second phase the President conferred awards on 11 recipients.
"In the circumstances of not receiving a response for our grievance we are left with no option but to be absent for the ceremony". "We were all there waiting in the lobby all dressed up and excited about our film being honoured by the.Why weren't we informed about the President's inability to personally give away the awards to all of us?" Khanna was awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke Award and Sridevi was given it for her film "Mom". At the same time, the organisers could have done a better job of giving adequate notice to the winners about the schedule of the President. In the music category, he gave away the award for Best Playback Singer (Male) to KJ Yesudas but Shashaa Tripupati, who was judged the Best Playback Singer (Female) was awarded by the two ministers. While these are government awards, the fact that they are presented by the president is what makes them unbiased and pristine.
We would have come back with our own expenditure, in trains or buses, would have stayed in the cheapest lodges to avoid extra burden of repeat call for @MIB, after all we are used to traveling in trains and buses when our stars travel by first class flights, to save production's money.
"Does the new rule mean any minister can give away National Awards other than the President?" The National Award is our nation's highest recognition; getting recognition from the President's hand is our privilege, our honour and our dream!
The President said, the films also reflect the social challenges that the society needs to overcome. The President's office has questioned the wisdom of printing invitations of Film Awards function announcing that Kovind will be handing out the awards. But we are not boycotting the award itself.